Road lope: A big problem with simple solutions
DES MOINES, Iowa — A recent survey conducted on behalf of Titan Tire Corporation showed that roughly 47 percent of growers (regardless of tire brand they’re running) have identified road lope as a problem they’re currently experiencing with their tractors and combines.
This physical swaying and bouncing of the machine during road transport can result in extreme rider discomfort and inhibit the grower’s productivity between fields. However, there are some simple solutions that growers should be aware of in order to rectify their road lope issues.
Wheels and tires
There is a misconception in the marketplace that road lope is a by-product of poor design, when in fact the issue is more often than not related to how the wheel and tire system is aligned when installed on the equipment.
“Wheels and tires both have natural high and low spots, and if they are not aligned correctly when mounted and installed, it will increase the likelihood of road lope issues,” explained Scott Sloan, agricultural product manager for Titan and Goodyear Farm Tires. “By selecting a factory-mounted tire from a manufacturer that aligns the high and low spots of the wheel and tire in the factory, the grower is likely to see reduced road lope as compared to a tire that was mounted without regard to high and low spots."
Field service programs
Unfortunately, not all wheel and tire assemblies are mounted in the manufacturer’s factory. However, for growers running aftermarket tires that are experiencing road lope problems, there are solutions.
Growers can work with their local dealer or the tire manufacturer field service team to troubleshoot the issue. Titan formed the Titan Grizz Squad in 2011 ― a team of field service technicians ― that is responsible for visiting customers across the country and making adjustments to their wheels and tires in order to get better overall performance in the field. A field service team will use portable laser run-out machines to measure the radial uniformity of each individual tire on the grower’s equipment. The results are tracked in a software program, and the data is used to determine high and low spots of the wheel and tire. The high spot of the rim is then matched up with the low spot on the tire, giving the assembly a true roundness, which helps solve the road lope issue for the grower.
“It’s not uncommon for field service teams to encounter growers who are on the verge of buying all new sets of tires, because they are fed up with the road lope,” said Sloan. “This could be up to a $40,000 purchase to replace tires that are in perfectly good shape, but after spending an afternoon with a field service technician, the problem can be solved at no cost to the grower.”
Low sidewall (LSW) technology
Another solution available to growers to combat road lope is low sidewall (LSW) technology, which helps boost stability in the field and on the road, and reduce road lope and power hop.
LSW wheels and tires feature a lower aspect ratio, smaller sidewall and larger rim diameter without increasing the outside diameter of the tire. With a smaller sidewall, the potential for recoil and bouncing is lessened significantly.
“LSW wheels and tires are perfect for large growers and custom harvesters that routinely travel several miles between fields,” said Sloan. “With the LSW, they will experience greater stability, less road lope and less power hop when compared to conventional tires and wheel assemblies.”
Combining LSW and increased flexion (IF)
Titan is offering LSW technology in a variety of Titan and Goodyear Farm Tire lines, and is even combining LSW technology with other advancements, such as increased flexion (IF) technology. By combining these technologies, the grower will have the stability benefits of LSW, as well as the flotation and traction benefits of running at lower inflation pressures with IF technology.
Goodyear Farm Tires are manufactured by Titan Tire Corporation, a subsidiary of Titan International. For more information on Goodyear Farm Tire products and services, visit the company’s website at www.titan-intl.com or email Titan International at email@example.com.
Titan International, Inc. (NYSE: TWI), a holding company, owns subsidiaries that supply wheels, tires and assemblies for off-highway equipment used in agricultural, earthmoving/construction and consumer (including all terrain vehicles) applications. Titan Tire Corporation is one of North America’s largest manufacturers of off-highway tires. Production facilities are located in Freeport, Ill.; Bryan, Ohio; and Des Moines, Iowa; which also serves as the headquarters for the tire group. The company manufactures two distinct brands — Titan and Goodyear Farm Tires — known for their quality craftsmanship, unique tread designs and excellent durability.
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